Reuters rolling out a website for advisers

Aug 13, 2007 @ 8:28 am

By Charles Paikert

Do advisers really need another “community” website? Reuters, the giant

London-based news and information company, thinks they do.

“It’s our version of Web 2.0,” said Scott Parry, White Plains, N.Y.-based general manager of Reuters AdvicePoint. “We think there’s a real need in the marketplace for this kind of community and service.”

The site, which will make its debut in late September, will feature listings, forums, blogs, financial advice and news. It will be marketed to investors and potential clients.

Reuters plans to allow financial planners and advisers to list their practice on the site for free.

They will be charged, however, if they want to upgrade their listing or receive more prominent placement on the site.

The site will generate revenue from advertising and subscriptions to premium products. It will also earn revenue by generating leads for advisers.

Toward that end, Reuters also plans to run a list of “top advisers” based on what Mr. Parry described as “quantitative criteria.”

Benchmark categories will include assets under management, growth and number of clients,

he said.

In addition, special awards will honor advisers based on their community and client service.

Nomination forms can be found on info.reutersadvicepoint.com/ta.

Advisers who make the list will be feted at a dinner and media event in New York on Nov. 6.

Market Power

The worsening credit squeeze and housing bust, according to Robert Samuelson, a prominent economist and Washington Post columnist, is actually just a small part of a larger story that he calls “the tyranny of capital markets.”

The economy is increasingly under the sway of global capital markets, which, he contends, are also revising standard economics. A prime example, he wrote last week, is the rise and fall of the housing market, which was fueled by lax credit and the packaging and marketing of risky mortgages into complicated collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs.

“Capital markets are not just incidental to economic growth,” Mr. Samuelson writes. “They’re a force for both good and evil.”

The problem, he concludes, is that “so much has changed so quickly that no one knows how the system operates. It’s often roulette.”

Chinese capital

If Mr. Samuelson thinks global capital markets are a force now, just wait until 2020.

According to Jing Ulrich, Hong Kong-based managing director and chairman of China Equities at New York’s JP Morgan Chase & Co., that’s when China should have an open capital account, and outbound Chinese investments will begin to significantly affect global markets.

Assuming a conservative growth rate of 10% per year, she wrote last week in the Financial Times, and assuming that just 5% of those savings leaves the country, that would still leave a staggering $885 billion of Chinese capital flooding the markets in 13 years.

More Chinese money in a broader range of investments means fewer purchases of U.S. Treasuries, Ms. Ulrich writes. That, in turn, could put upward pressure on global interest rates, she speculates, dampening enthusiasm for equities.

Nevertheless, she concludes, “On balance, as Chinese capital spreads around the globe, we expect the foreign thrill of an influx of new money to outweigh concerns.”

Friends of Hillary

Hillary Clinton scored big on Wall Street again last week, snagging the endorsement of Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

“As a New Yorker, I have seen firsthand the outstanding work Hillary Clinton has done as a senator, proving herself to be a strong and experienced leader,” Mr. Blankfein said in a statement.

Mr. Blankfein’s nod comes on the heels of an endorsement of Ms. Clinton in April by John Mack, chief executive of another Manhattan-based financial powerhouse, Morgan Stanley.

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